Weekly live performances that experiment with form. Responding to calls for social isolation, Café La MaMa Live brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance. Guest curators each week give artists a digital platform to share their work with the world.
"We always...I guess...in a way...center... before we...”
Referencing Deniece Williams’ song Black Butterfly, Justin Hicks and Kenita Miller-Hicks offer original songs and meditations that acknowledge love, in its various modes and expressions, as the ultimate gesture and a primary source of empowerment.
Curated and Hosted by Nicky Paraiso
This work will be presented in full as a part of The Bronx Council On The Arts series BX Expressions on Wednesday, June 24th.
Cover Image by Maria Baranova
Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer who uses music and sound to investigate identity and value. As a composer and performer, his work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Dixon Place, The Whitney Museum of American Art, \ and The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, among many others. Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Me’shell Ndegeocello, and Cauleen Smith. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage at The Public Theater. Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, and currently lives and works in The Bronx, NY.
Kenita Miller-Hicks is a Drama Desk Award-winning actor and vocalist who has performed in such notable Broadway productions as The Color Purple and Xanadu. She was most recently seen as Mama Euralie in the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Once on This Island. Her regional work includes an AUDELCO Award-winning portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston in Urban Stages’ Langston in Harlem and many others. She is also a member of the band The Hawtplates with Justin Hicks and Jade Hicks. Kenita was borna and Raised in Rochester, NY and currently lives and works in The Bronx, NY
Nicky Paraiso is an actor, singer, musician, writer, curator, solo performance artist. He has been a fixture of the NY downtown performance scene for the last four decades. He is Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa, and Curator for the annual La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, celebrating its fifteenth year in May 2020. He has worked as a performer with vanguard artists Jeff Weiss & Richard C. Martinez, Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, among many others. Nicky is the recipient of a 1987 Bessie Award for Performance, a 2012 BAX Arts & Artists in Progress Arts Management Award, a 2018 TCG Fox Fellowship for Resident Actors/Round 12, and the 2019 (NY Innovative Theatre) Ellen Stewart Award for Stewardship. Nicky’s most recent full-length performance, now my hand is ready for my heart: intimate histories, directed by John Jesurun, was presented at La MaMa in March 2019.
Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.